Monday, December 15, 2008

pre-emptive accusations of shinseki being a liar

So former special weenie to Don Rumsfeld Larry Di Rita has taken pre-emptive attack to a new level. In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, he says that General Eric Shinseki, Obama's nominee for Secretary of Veterans' Affairs, did not oppose the Iraq war plan. Di Rita goes further to smear Shinseki's assertion that "several hundred thousand" troops would be needed post-war in Iraq by saying Shinseki knew there were 400,000 troops in the pipeline to use during conflict. That last point is confusing - nowhere does Di Rita undermine Shinseki's point that POST-CONFLICT several hundred thousand troops would be neede.

But confusion is OK, because Di Rita, who now writes for the National Review On-Line, is just slinging shit here anyway to obscure the record and pre-emptively accuse Shinseki of being a liar before he even has a Senate hearing.

Di Rita also writes that Shinseki was not "forced from office," saying he retired as scheduled. Technically true, but an incomplete account. What Rumsfeld and company DID do was select Shinseki's replacement as Army Chief of Staff FOURTEEN MONTHS before Shinseki was due to retire. That undercut Shinseki badly, as was clearly intended. It was a further example of the sort of treatment any general who did not clearly and openly support Rumsfeld could expect.

Di Rita, who's boss Rumsfeld committed several egregious wrongs including his treatment of Shinseki, says Shinseki now has the "chance to right an egregious wrong" by admitting he had the chance to voice his views (which is probably true) and supported the Iraq war plan. The war plan? Maybe. The POST-WAR plan? Totally different question, as Di Rita would know. But wait, Rumsfeld expressly prohibited drafting a POST-CONFLICT plan.

And finally Di Rita instructs Shinseki to confirm "that he has no desire to play the role he has been assigned: hero in a legend that has little basis in fact."

Wow. That's nasty - a vicious little smear job. Good to remind us that these guys don't change their stripes when they leave office.

Larry, stay classy.

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